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Biting back: It's all a matter of getting balance right in GAA

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

By Declan Bogue

Donegal's Karl Lacey explained it all on Tuesday: "I have family now, a wee boy of eight months. I have to keep everything right.

"I have discussed it with my family and this is the right thing for me to do over the next few months. The football means so much to me. I have always given everything to my football, whether I was at home or in Dublin or Limerick and it's just a wee bit easier this way and I think it is the right decision for me."

For the record, he was speaking on his decision to not work this summer and dedicate himself entirely to Donegal's Championship bid.

Asked how much of a difference it makes, he answered: "It's unbelievable. I only realise how much of a difference it makes now that I'm doing it. For me it was into the car; straight out of the car; into training; back into the car for another four hours … and you're just in bits the next day.

"Whereas now, you have the day to go to the swimming pool and do your recovery work. You're not rushing on the road; stopping at petrol stations to eat sandwiches."

He might be the first full-time Gaelic footballer in Ulster and he says he won't be the last, stating: "I think it's becoming more popular nearly. There's a few players that have kind of stepped back from employment to concentrate on it."

For an amateur sport, it's astonishing when you think about it.

Belfast Telegraph


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